The Workspace New Norm
The traditional workplace has forever changed… Forever.
The pandemic restrictions on people’s movements and gatherings forced us to rethink the way work. The ground shifted beneath us. Hybrid workplace models are the new ‘normal.’
Hybrid employee performance reviews are mechanisms that employers use to check if all moving parts in the workforce are functional and up to par.
Let’s look at some ways you can pinpoint and rework weaknesses in a hybrid team.
Performance reviews to pinpoint weaknesses
Many people receive accolades for providing solutions to problems. The task of providing solutions is noteworthy, but so is the task of identifying problems. It is quite a feat to identify what is holding back your team from reaching its full potential.
A functional system is just as good as its parts. Managers can use tools like Leapsome’s software for performance reviews to pinpoint these weaknesses and rework them.
Identifying weaknesses in a hybrid team is essential to the decision-making process if you want to make informed changes.
One person can’t point out the weaknesses of a team. The process of realizing shortfalls in the team’s performance has to involve every member of the team. An employer should not take it on himself to be the one finding out everything that is wrong with a team.
The manager should regularly invite team members to a meeting and give everyone a chance to voice out what they perceive to be the problem in a hybrid team. Make it clear that the meeting aims to list as many problems as possible.
Every member’s point must be treated equally. Team members should be allowed to express their frustrations, fears, and drawbacks they are experiencing that might be attributed to the overall performance as a group and as an individual.
In these brainstorming sessions, define every problem clearly and identify the root cause. If the root of a problem is not well identified, you may end up solving signs of an underlying problem. You will run the risk of coming up with a Band-Aid solution. Remember that effective discussion leads to well-considered decisions.
Avoid turning the problems in brainstorming sessions into finger-pointing sessions. Contributions from all members must be judgment-free. This can be achieved by keeping the group small. Invite only the stakeholders to the team. If the hybrid team is made of many members, consider splitting them into separate sessions.
Record progress by assigning a member to take notes that can be revisited if a second meeting is needed. This can help you avoid covering the same ground again.
2. Gather data
There are many tools you can use in the management of hybrid teams—tools that collect data on the organization, people, and talent. Use these tools to collect human resource metrics to quantify and qualify the performance of the employees.
Human resources tend to follow metrics the like of values that can track contribution, performance, and overall consistency of each metric accordingly. The values can be measurable data points like productivity, but for jobs requiring soft skills, performance metrics are not always easy to quantify.
However, the effort to capture these types of employee contributions in some capacity is worthwhile. Qualitative and quantitative data on the performance of teams on tasks provided, the duration taken, the roles taken by each team member, challenges faced, and solutions provided are also collected.
Use this data to evaluate an employee’s work performances, or more specifically, utilize the data to pinpoint strengths along with weaknesses. Also, offer feedback, and set goals for future performance. Decisions made based on the data available are informed and unbiased.
3. Performance reviews
Performance reviews have evolved from annual reviews to an ongoing process. Managers and their direct subordinates discuss their goals, performance, strengths, and weaknesses.
The use of a mixture of fellow employees, line managers, customers, and employers to give feedback on a team member’s performance can be used to solicit actionable feedback. 360° performance reviews are used to achieve such feedback.
You can use review data to track performance changes over a set period and use it to compare the performance of teams, departments, and employees on specific skills. The reviews will guide you to point out inefficiencies and weaknesses of the teams and individual employees.
Reworking your hybrid team’s weakness
Now that you know what is holding back your hybrid team’s success, it’s time to see how you can fix it.
4. Set growth targets
Teams work better when they are working towards a unified goal. Always set attainable goals which can be skills development targets for individuals or teams. Furthermore, you should track the progress so you know how close the team or members are to reaching the goals.
How you communicate these goals is also important. Considering that you’re running a hybrid team, the method of communication should be something that everyone, whether they’re working remotely or on-premises, can access. For instance, this can be an email or video meeting.
5. Lead by example
To keep team members actively engaged in achieving the goals you’ve set, you should ditch the “do as I say” mentality. Show the team that you’re willing to work on the weaknesses to improve your individual or team-based outcomes.
Your teammates will also trust you more if there’s consistency in what you do or say. So suppose there’s a mandate that all team members working remotely should be available for video calls each morning. You should be the first one online to that meeting when you’re working from home.
6. Provide training
Not everyone knows how to work in hybrid work environments, and it can be difficult for some team members to get their bearings. Particularly, many people need training on how to use remote working tools for better communication and collaboration. As the leader, you should also join in on the training to show everyone that you’re willing to grow with the team.
You can purchase training programs from online skill marketplaces like Udemy and Coursera. Even Microsoft Teams has its own training spaces for team members to upskill anytime, anywhere. Alternatively, you can formulate your own to minimize costs and address the specific challenges of the team.
7. Leverage technology
When it comes to remote work, technology is your friend since it makes data more accessible for both on-site and remote teams. With how far cloud technology has come, teams can work with the data across geographical distances seamlessly. The cloud is also secure, which puts many objections about data safety to rest.
Technology also brings with it a host of text, audio, and video-based collaborative tools. Take Microsoft Teams, for example. Not only can your team use it to host virtual meetings, but they can integrate it with Microsoft 365 and third-party apps to improve workflow.
On top of that, we have task management software like Asana, Trello, and Jira. These tools provide robust communication tools that allow the team to stay on top of tasks together.
All this is to say that technology fosters a collaborative environment even though team members are physically dispersed. This is a strength and just might be what can make a weak team stronger if utilized well.
8. Provide what the team needs for work at home
When teams are on-site, they usually have everything they need to be productive. The situation might be different when they move to a remote working scenario. So as management, you should make sure that they don’t lack anything when working from home.
With COVID-19 some team members might have to work from home. However, in your work situation, try to give teammates a choice. Let those who can and want to, come into work, while those who can manage can contribute remotely.
9. Reward the team
As much as a team needs a singular goal to work towards so they become stronger, they also need incentives. Rewards can be as small as showing appreciation and handwritten notes. They can also be something as big as time off or gift cards.
You can also do something for the whole team in the form of a retreat or any other activity that isn’t work-related but fun.
10. Set the path for continuous improvement
Once you have reworked your team’s weakness, the work has just begun. Improvement needs to be sustained to prevent old weakness from creeping back in. Constantly repeat the steps outlined in pinpointing the weakness and rework them.
Wrapping it up!
Now that you know how to pinpoint and rework your hybrid team’s weaknesses, we can easily say that’s everything you need to know about finding your team’s weaknesses and reworking them to your advantage.
Of course, not all hybrid teams are the same, so you’ll have to tweak the tips to what works for you.
However, you should place more emphasis on finding the root cause of the weakness. Eliminating that means the problem goes away for good
Should you manage to strengthen your team, know that work is not over. Becoming complacent will leave room for the old weakness to creep back in – it might even give rise to new ones.
We’ll leave the rest up to you.
Li-Anne Mcgregor van Aardt is a wordsmith who enjoys painting the world with her words; something Li-Anne has been doing for the past 16-plus years. Expect deep hues and careening colors of various vibrancy when traipsing her cascade of prose.